Our Story

QC PastPort focuses on bringing the rich history of the Quad Cities to life. The idea actually came from a sense of frustration that despite recognizing the Quad City’s expansive history and the impact it had on the development of our Country, we were not effectively sharing it with our own community or our visitors.

The idea became a concept through attendance at the Quad Cities’ first Big Table event. In the discussions there was an ongoing theme of developing more pride in who we are as Quad Citizens. There were concerns about the loss of landmark buildings. There was a feeling of disconnect with our leadership about the importance of honoring these landmarks and understanding their importance in defining who we are as a community.

The concept gained momentum when in response to the Big Table event, the William Butterworth Foundation organized a consortium of people to see what could be done when we all came together to embrace our history. This newly formed group includes people in the renovation and restoration trades, local historians, history focused non-profits, museums, advocacy groups and more. This was truly a big step towards a collaborative effort to help each other with our similar, but different goals all in the name of preserving the rich history of the Quad Cities.

Last, we came to realize our history could serve as an economic engine in the Quad Cities. The Quad Cities Chamber hosted a panel of relocation experts who manage these efforts for large corporations around the world. All of them were pleasantly surprised by our quality of life. Two of them noted the signage along the river and stated they had no idea about the history of this area. The plan for an interactive signage program called QC PastPort was solidified.

Originally the QC PastPort concept was developed as a non-profit organization with a governing board. But momentum was hard to maintain, because of heavy outside commitments with the founding group. After much discussion, it was decided this organization would be better served as a for-profit company with dedicated employees and the change was made.

Now, we hope you draw inspiration and have some fun as you discover one of our signs, participate on our social media pages and listen to the audio productions of the talented regional folks who take us to the place where it happened. Bon Voyage!


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